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15 Interesting Teas and Teabags

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There are plenty of fancy tea infusers on the market, but what about fun tea bags or just unusual tea in general? There’s a whole world of interesting tea flavors and packaging on the internet to explore. Here are some interesting ideas and designs people have come up with to push the limits of what tea can be.

1. NOVEL TEA

A hot cup of tea and a good book are an obvious match, so it makes sense to combine them into delightful teabags that sport quotes from literary greats like Alice Hoffman and Mark Twain. Each pack comes with 25 English breakfast teabags with quotes from writers about books and tea. You can grab a pack on Amazon.

2. FISH TEABAG

 

Taipei-based creative agency Charm Villa created adorable fish-shaped teabags that turn your mug into a fishbowl. When you plunk one of the tea-filled fish into water, the body swells and unfolds. When you pull the string, it looks like the fish is actually swimming. You can buy one on Amazon, but unfortunately, they cost a lot more here in the U.S. than they do in Taiwan.

3. VARIOUS SHAPES

If you like the idea of fun-shaped teabags but aren’t a fan of the price, consider getting a pack from TeaHeritage. The French Etsy store creates adorable shaped teabags that resemble everything from bunnies to airplanes. Some even come with matching tags; for example, the star teabag comes with a glittery Saturn tag. 

4. FLOWERING PACKAGING

German designer Andrej Krahne came up with flowering teabags that open when they get wet. Each bag is connected to a paper flower or leaf that’s folded up. When the teabag is put in the mug, the paper tag stays afloat and slowly opens like a real flower.

5. ORIGAMI TEA BAGS

Washington tea seller Dovely makes beautiful teabags that look like origami birds. They sell these special teabags in packs of 16 or individually with a card. You can buy them on Etsy.

6. MAPLE BACON TEA

Yes, there truly is bacon-flavored everything. This bacon maple chai offers bacon lovers yet another way to enjoy their favorite meaty flavor. The tea comes from Tattle Tea, who sells the loose leaves in packages of five ounces.

7. TEA WITH A BUILT IN FILTER 

 

Sugart sells tea in special long sleeves. Thanks to built-in filters, you can dunk the whole thing right into your mug. They offer a whole range of flavors, like fruit berry, peppermint, and chamomile.

8. JAPANESE CULTURE-INSPIRED TAGS

 

Tea tags are great for helping you fish out the teabag when it’s finished soaking. But they don't always stay put. Japanese company Yamasu Sugimoto Shoten created teabags with special tags shaped like ninjas, samurai, sumo wrestlers, and other figures from Japanese history and culture. Thanks to their unique shape, they can hang on to the side of your mug until you're ready to fish the teabag out.

9. WINE-INSPIRED ICED TEA

Not interested in bacon or vegetable-flavored tea? You might like this more sensible flavor option: wine. Sonoma makes a series of wine-inspired iced tea flavors perfect for teetotaling oenophiles. The collection has three flavors: cabernet, chardonnay, and rosé.

10. CELEBRITIES

These tea bags make it look like famous people from history are lounging in your mug. From Elvis to Queen Elizabeth, there’s someone for everyone. Donkey Products sells individual bags as well as groups of related people (like Christmas characters and comedians). Each pack comes with five amusing teabags.

11. CHANGING TEABAG DESIGNS

Malaysian tea company BOH wanted to remind its customers about the calming qualities of chamomile tea. Instead of creating a traditional commercial, they created a new kind of teabag to get the message across. The new line of teabags features a series of threatening or hostile designs printed in edible tea ink. When submerged in hot water, the ink fades into the cup, leaving a more pleasing, calm image. We can’t find a place to buy this wonderful publicity stunt, but we enjoy the concept all the same.

12. DOLPHIN BLUE TEA 

After a successful crowdsourcing campaign, Japan now gets to enjoy dolphin-shaped teabags that create bright blue or yellow tea. Adorably, the tea tags are shaped like anchors to complete the nautical theme.

13. SAVORY TEA

Most teas come in sweet or spiced flavors, but you can also get teas that taste like a salad. Numi Organic has a line of savory tea flavors inspired by produce you can find in a garden. Their garden sampler pack includes six different vegetable-inspired flavors. Some options include carrot curry, spinach chive, and broccoli cilantro. The description calls the drink “not quite a soup, but more than a tea.” You can try it yourself on Amazon.

14. TEA FOR TWO

Designer Tom Chludil has a friendly idea on how we should share our tea. He created a mock-up for a teabag that can be split in half and enjoyed by two friends. The legs are the teabags while the arms are filled with sugar. One side is written in English while the other side is written in Czech.

15. POLAROID TEA TAGS

If you’re not satisfied with any of these offerings, you can take matters into your own hands and create your own interesting teabags. Here’s an idea for DIY tea tags that look like Polaroid pictures. Quirky camera accessory store Photojojo has the tutorial right here.

BONUS: FISHERMAN TEA HOLDER

Now that you have the perfect tea bag picked out, you just need the right holder to keep the string in place. Might we suggest these adorable fishermen who will fish out your teabag? The sets come with four fishermen wielding little fishing rods around which you can wrap your teabags.

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A Brief History of the High Five
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Since 2002, the third Thursday of April is recognized as National High Five Day—a 24-hour period for giving familiars and strangers alike as many high fives as humanly possible. A few University of Virginia students invented the day, which has since evolved into a “High 5-A-Thon” that raises money each year for for a good cause. (For 2018, it's CoachArt, a nonprofit organization that engages kids impacted by chronic illness in arts and athletics.) Here are a few more facts about the history of the hand gesture to get you in the high-fiving spirit.

UP HIGH

That may sound like a lot of celebration for a simple hand gesture, but the truth is, the act of reaching your arm up over your head and slapping the elevated palm and five fingers of another person has revolutionized the way Americans (and many all over world) cheer for everything from personal achievements to miraculous game-winning plays in the sports world. Psychological studies on touch and human contact have found that gestures like the high five enhance bonding among sports teammates, which in turn has a winning effect on the whole team. Put 'er there!

DOWN LOW

There is some dispute about who actually invented the high five. Some claim the gesture was invented by Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Glenn Burke when he spontaneously high-fived fellow outfielder Dusty Baker after a home run during a game in 1977. Others claim the 1978-79 Louisville basketball team started it on the court. Since no one could definitively pinpoint the exact origin, National High Five Day co-founder Conor Lastowka made up a story about Murray State basketballer Lamont Sleets inventing it in the late '70s/early '80s, inspired by his father's Vietnam unit, “The Fives.”

Regardless of which high-five origin story is more accurate, there is little question of its roots. The high five evolved from its sister-in-slappage, the low five. The gesture, also known as “slapping skin,” was made popular in the jazz age by the likes of Al Jolson, Cab Calloway and the Andrews Sisters.

GIMME FIVE

As the high five has evolved over the past few decades, variations have developed and become popular in and of themselves. Here are five popular styles:

The Baby Five
Before most babies learn to walk or talk, they learn to high five. Baby hands are much smaller than adult hands, so grownups have to either use one finger, scrunch their fingers together or flat-out palm it.

The Air Five
Also known as the "wi-five" in the more recent technology age, this one is achieved just like a regular high five, minus the hand-to-hand contact. Its great for germaphobes and long distance celebrations.

The Double High Five
Also known as a “high ten,” it is characterized by using both hands simultaneously to high five.

The Fist Bump
It's a trendy offshoot of the high five that made headlines thanks to a public display by the U.S. President and First Lady. Instead of palm slapping, it involves contact between the knuckles of two balled fists. In some cases, the fist bump can be “exploding,” by which the bump is followed by a fanning out of all involved fingers.

The Self High Five
If something awesome happens and there's no one else around, the self high five may be appropriate. It happens when one person raises one hand and brings the other hand up to meet it, high-five style. Pro-wrestler Diamond Dallas Page made the move famous in his appearances at WCW matches.

YOU'RE TOO SLOW!

Don't fall for that old joke. The key to a solid high five is threefold. Always watch for the elbow of your high-fiving mate to ensure accuracy; never leave a buddy hanging; and always have hand sanitizer on you. Have a Happy High Five Day!

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Why a Train Full of New York City Poop Was Stranded in Alabama for Two Months
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Residents of Parrish, Alabama probably aren't too fond of New Yorkers right now. That’s because the town is currently home to a full trainload of poop courtesy of the Big Apple, as Bloomberg reports. Some 200 shipping containers of treated sewage have been stuck in Parrish for more than two months while the town takes landfill operators to court.

New York City doesn't keep its own sewage sludge to itself, and it hasn't for decades. In the 1980s, New York City was dumping its "biosolids"—the solids left over from sewage treatment, i.e., your poop—into the Atlantic Ocean, where it settled on the bottom of the sea floor in a thick film stretching over 80 square nautical miles. When the government banned the practice of dumping waste straight into the ocean, the city had to get creative, finding a way to get rid of the 1200 tons of biosolids produced there every day.

Enter the poop train. As a 2013 Radiolab episode taught us (we highly recommend you listen for yourself), treated sludge was eventually shipped out to other states to use as fertilizer in the 1990s. After farmers in Colorado began noticing better growth and fewer pests in the fields they grew with New York City's finest sewer sludge, growers in other states began clamoring to take the big-city poop by the train-full, too. That tide has turned, though, and now no one wants the city's poop. Because of the cost of running the program, the train to Colorado stopped in 2010.

Now, biosolids are instead shipped to landfills upstate and in places like Georgia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, according to The Wall Street Journal. And Alabama. For more than a year, the Big Sky landfill near Parrish has been accepting New York City biosolids, and the locals who have to deal with trainloads of rotting waste aren’t happy.

Normally, the sludge would be loaded onto trucks and then driven the last stretch to get to the landfill. But Parrish and its nearby neighbor of West Jefferson aren't interested in playing host to those messy poop transfers anymore. As the two towns take the landfill operators to court over it, the trains are stuck where they are, next to Parrish's Little League baseball fields. The trainload of sludge is blocked from either being sent to the landfill or back to New York City. While the city has stopped shipping more waste to Big Sky, it essentially said "no takebacks" regarding what they've already sent south. Short of a legal decision, that poop isn't moving.

Needless to say, the residents of Parrish would really, really like to resolve this before summer hits.

Update: Parrish residents can officially breathe easy. The last of the sludge has now been removed from the town, and Big Sky has ended its operation there, according to a Facebook post from Mayor Heather Hall. The containers that remain have been emptied of their smelly cargo and will be removed sometime before Friday, April 20.

[h/t Bloomberg]

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